SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Although the World Cup is taking place over 7,000 miles away in Qatar, that doesn’t mean fans in Central New York aren’t enjoying the moment.

Jenn DeMarchi is the Vice President of the American Outlaws Syracuse chapter, a U.S. soccer fan club with chapters all over the country. She remembers when the team failed to qualify in 2018 and says today is a long time coming.

“This day is, frankly, it’s been eight years in the making and I am so excited,” DeMarchi said. “And clearly everyone here is so excited.”

Although the U.S. team is widely viewed as an underdog, fans like DeMarchi are still optimistic.

“The U.S. has a super exciting core of young players,” she explained. “Only one member of the roster has ever played in a World Cup before. And they have all these rising stars. I mean, everyone knows [Christain] Pulisic, but Gio Reyna, Brenden ErinAaronson, and Tyler Adams.”

The U.S. split their first game 1-1 against Wales but will be back in action on Friday at 2 p.m. against England.